I forgot to give you the index number that was listed with that death record - it might be important to include it with your request.It was 137-373.
I would think you could contact the County Clerk's office in Dawson Co. to see how you could find out if John had to sell his ranch, or what.Or if there is a Genealogy Society in that county, maybe some kind soul would look for you.Failing that, contact the Montana Genealogical Society, the ones who put the death records online.
You are so lucky to have that photo.You just never know what will turn up.I have tried every way I know to find John in the 1900 census, without success.Maybe he was just missed.
Please keep me posted on what you find on the death record.You can e-mail me directly (listed on the forum)if you want.And if you can scan the photo, I would love to see it.I am caught up now in your search!!